Jan 19, 2012

thank heavens for leftovers!

As you know I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes---most of the time.  I DO collect cookbooks and read them like novels, after all.  I think you can tell by reading the ingredient list if it will work for your needs and flag it.

Other times, when I am busy with something in the sewing room, I could care less about cooking and will throw together anything as quick as I can.  DJ would refer to my actions in the kitchen on those days a bull in the china shop--- in, out and back to sewing.  Come on, we all do it or just give up and order pizza or run through the closest drive thru burger joint.

I also consider myself lucky that my husband is NOT a picky eater or one that will NOT eat leftovers.  Lord, I would hate to see what our food budget would have to be in that case!  We do not waste food around here.  We are retired so that means most of the time BOTH of us are here for lunch.  Last night's supper is often lunch the next day.  If there is still some leftover, then it is off to the freezer to be "born again" in another form.  When we need some soup to round out a sandwich  meal, I usually have a couple kinds on hand in the freezer.

Last night I did what I call "spoil your husband" meal and fixed his all time favorite of turkey breast and most of the trimmings.  Obviously that is NOT what you are looking at, LOL.  This was my Tuesday efforts.  I tried my hand at replicating Olive Garden's Roasted Chicken Potato Florentine soup.    Ever since the Belles' Christmas luncheon and we tried a sample of it, I knew I was going to have to come up with my own version of it!   They are only going to serve it for a limited time at the restaurant and I only get down there every two--three months or so.  I liked it enough to make a stab at it.   I also made a pan of King Arthur Flour's No Knead Garlic Cheese Flat Bread since we were not going to have access to those yummy Olive Garden Bread Sticks.  This is all that is left for the freezer after two meals.   My 5 qt. Dutch oven was full to about 3 inches from the top.

OH, this bread recipe is very good as well and would be great for panini sandwiches if you cut into squares and half it.  Blitz Bread: No Fuss Focaccia.  The other recipe gives a tip for using the leftover bread and turning it into crispy breadsticks.

So if you want to try making a batch here's what I came up with--------

* Exported from MasterCook *

   My version of Olive Garden's Roasted Chicken Potato Florentine Soup

Recipe By     :  Linda J
Serving Size  : 12  
Categories    : soup

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2                                 carrots -- peeled and cut into match stick pieces
  1          medium           onion -- diced
  1         tablespoon       olive oil
  2       14.5 oz cans      chicken broth  (or more)
  1                cup           water
  3                                 potatoes -- diced small  (NOTE:  see below if you want the slices of potatoes)
  1       10.75 oz. can     condensed tomato soup
  1          8 oz. can         tomato sauce
  1/2       jar                   Ragú Alfredo Classic Pasta Sauce
  1/2  9-10 oz. pkg.       frozen chopped spinach -- thawed
  8             ounces         cooked chicken -- cubed
                                    salt to taste
  1           teaspoon       sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes
  1           teaspoon       prepared minced garlic
  1           teaspoon       Italian herb seasoning
  1/4        teaspoon       black pepper

Prep the carrots and onion and saute in a 5 qt. Dutch oven till softened.

If you plan on using diced potatoes in the soup, prep them and add to the pot along with 2 cans of broth and water.  Bring to a boil and cook about 8-10 minutes till the potato cubes are fork tender, not mushy.

Add the pasta sauce, tomato sauce  and condensed tomato soup adding more broth or water if needed to thin the soup to the consistency you like it.

I used slightly less than half a box of Green Giant chopped spinach left from another use.  It looked to be more than what we were served at the restaurant but I like my soup substantial.

Cooked Chicken:  as I had no leftover chicken on hand and did not want to spring for a rotisserie one,  I used a prepared package of grilled chicken pieces from the meat case.  Tyson and John Soule brands are at Walmart.  Any other time I would have poached a breast or two or used some leftover chicken from another meal.

NOTES : If you want to use the sliced potatoes like they do in the restaurant, I think I would get a package of the microwaveable red potatoes.  Let them cool enough to peel and cut into small slices adding just at the end to heat through.  I used cubes as I would for regular potato soup.

ENJOY!  LOL, we did.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe. Will give it a try, as it is raining cats and dogs today. Years ago I worked for the bakery that made the breadsticks for Olive Garden. I would pray everyday when the guys came in from their routes, that someone would have leftovers(freebies). Never.

    blessings, jilly


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